The Confession: A Novel

John Grisham - Published 2010
The Confession: A Novel, I definitely was awaiting this book. Of course that is the Grisham style that many come to love. The plot develops pretty quickly and the pace of the story really takes off. I think this may be some of Grisham's best suspense since early books, like The Firm. The story is compelling and most people will enjoy it.

Grisham breaks down the death penalty process very well. Many people don't realize how easy a conviction can be obtained. Even with borderline information, most juries want to believe people are guilty. While the book builds race as a foundation, the criminal justice system prefers most people to be guilty, regardless of skin color. Also, the best part of the book is the realization of how hard it is to overrule a death row conviction. Nobody ever wants to admit an innocent person could be convicted, so the tendency is to stick to their guns. Grisham outlining attempts to delay an execution are believable and I bet are very close to reality.

I felt the story kind of slowed toward the end. He spent several chapters kind of setting up the "happily ever after," where most authors would take a lot less space. The last part of the book is a bit of a let down after the suspense built up through Parts I & II and I started to expect a strange plot twist that never happened. I suppose the days and hours leading to an execution are very tense and the immediate aftermath is a slower pace as reality sets in. That is about the only way I can explain such a slow finish to an otherwise great legal thriller.

Many people will give this 1 or 2 stars because they feel it is a "political" message. Of course, it is. However, Grisham pulls very true elements of the death penalty process together for a FICTIONAL story. If you are very narrow-minded and believe Fox News is "fair and balanced" then don't waste your time on this book. It is only for people who can evaluate a work of fiction and draw their own personal conclusions. My opinions are a complete opposite of Grisham's, but that did not lessen my enjoyment of this book. Just like other Grisham books, you can just ignore his slant on things and enjoy the story. Unfortunately in this country, few people are able to objectively read a counter-view and it will show in book reviews

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